In my new role on Commvault’s Solutions Marketing team, it is important for me to stay connected with industry leading opinions from analysts and pundits. Storage Switzerland’s George Crump recently launched a blog relevant to cloud technologies called: “Where is the Cloud? The Cloud is a Method, Not a Location." It included some interesting views on the cloud (which I agreed with). That said, his statement “that data is weighing down the cloud, making it less flexible and less efficient,” caused me to pause and question: is that true? It shook my intellectual being and I found myself staring off into the distance pondering the different angles and perceptions of this statement.
After all, when we began with the premise of cloud computing, it was a dynamic, flexible environment that should be able to adapt to a variety of computing, networking, business, availability and storage/data needs. How could data be weighing it down? I guess that probably starts with the premise of the blog – that although the cloud is not a location, many in IT view it as a destination. After all, it is “THE Cloud." But the reality is those cloud providers are selling outcomes to their clients, and those outcomes vary widely whether they are primarily focused on security, price/performance, availability, business dynamics, or IT agility service levels.
And if we have learned anything with our customers over the last five years, the outcomes that you will need in the next few years will probably be very different than the outcomes that you need today; at least for a portion of your environment, and who knows, potentially your entire environment the way technology has been innovating.
So how can our customers grow the amount of 'cloud data' by more than 400 percent during the last year and not have the experience of a 'weighed down cloud?'
Then a light bulb came on for me. Data becomes a burden when it isn’t planned for and, more important, isn’t properly understood. The reason our customers do not look at it that way is that our customers view the cloud as part of their data strategy and not as a one-time, final destination. We talk about the dozens of cloud providers that we are integrated with, and the hundreds that we work with, and the portability of data between those clouds; so our customers are conditioned to understand that there are lots of cloud options. They know that they need to have a plan, but they also understand their data and their workloads better than most of their peers. That makes it easier for them to execute upon their strategy – regardless of the changes in outcome needs.
The lesson for all of us to take away is that if we are not talking about the cloud being part of a data strategy AND we are not doing our best to understand all aspects of that data and the workload it belongs with, then data will be perceived as a burden. It will also weigh down the benefits of the cloud. That, of course, works against all of our best interests. So I challenge you: let’s spend time talking about how important Commvault can be to a cloud strategy. George’s blog is full of strong ideas, and with the right partner – Commvault of course - those data frustrations don’t necessarily need to ever be experienced.